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Bangkok Stays Top In Mastercard Study

21 Oct, 2019

BANGKOK, 21 October 2019: No surprises, Bangkok topped the Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index (GDCI) 2019 for the fourth consecutive year and for the sixth time in the past decade.

Based on overnight stays, Thailand is the only country in this year’s GDCI with three cities in the global top 20 for “international overnight visitors” (Bangkok, Phuket and Pattaya).

It also has two cities in the global top 10 for “spending by international overnight visitors.

The GDCI 2019 ranks 200 cities based on proprietary Mastercard analysis of visitor volume and spending in 2018.

Annual international overnight visitors spent more than USD20 billion in Bangkok, while in Phuket, they spent more than USD12 billion.

Compared to 2017, Bangkok enjoyed an increase of about 15% in spending, while Phuket saw an increase of 9%.  Hat Yai, at over 19%, recorded the highest increase, mostly from Malaysian visitors.

China is Thailand’s largest origin market, but the research claims several of Thailand’s famous holiday destinations – particularly the islands – saw an increase in visitors from Europe and Japan.

Visitors from Germany topped island destinations such as Phang Nga (25.1%), Koh Samui (17.1%), Koh Tao (11.4%) and Koh Chang (11.3%). Japanese visitors accounted for 25.5% of arrivals in Ayutthaya. The nation’s ancient capital gained 1.7% from 2017.

Hoteliers at the resorts may challenge the findings as they report declines in bookings, but the analytics are based on data in 2018.

The collapse of Thomas Cook and especially the uncertainties surrounding Thomas Cook companies in Germany and Nordic countries could hit bookings to popular southern islands in Thailand starting in November.

The study highlighted several emerging destinations, including Pha Ngan Island, which this year joined the top 100 in the Asia Pacific at 96. Pha Ngan has overtaken island locations such as Chang (139), Tao (130), Boracay in the Philippines (129) and Lombok in Indonesia (110). Hat Yai (31) jumped 27 places in 2018. The GDCI and APDI indices help public and private sector tourism partners around the world understand how international travel is impacting cities, identify challenges, and gauge how to deliver more connected and inclusive experiences.

TTR Weekly

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